Japan’s Tokyo Marine and Jo Tankers of Norway will merge their chemical carrier fleets into a new pool company, to be known as Milestone Chemical Tankers, this autumn. The pool will be owned on a 50/50 basis by the partners and will be commercially managed from Singapore, with regional offices to be established in Bergen, London and Houston. The combined fleet will total 63 ships, with 52 coming from Tokyo Marine.
In mid-June Angola loaded its first cargo of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas). Angola has become the first new supplier of LNG to come to the global market since 2010, when the 160,500m3 Sonangol Sambizanga (2011), which is under long-term charter to the Angola LNG project, loaded a cargo at Soyo for Brazil.
This was welcome news for the industry, as the spot- and short-term shipping markets have seen rates decline due to lack of new cargoes and a slight drop in demand from the world’s biggest importer, Japan, as well as Europe.
Traditionally, vessels have operated under long-term contracts of ten years or more, but now short-term contracts are becoming common.
The LNG market is not characterised by an over supply of ships, unlike most other sectors of shipping, but it is expected that LNG capacity should expand considerably in 2016, and by 2020 should be double the 2012 level.